The moral indignation expressed by most members of the Democratic Party over the latest episode of looming debt ceiling conflicts is fun to watch. The fabricated anger at GOP insistence on conditioning the habitual increase in the legal federal debt limit on doing something to try to reduce the need for raising it again in a few months makes one wonder if even the kindergarten school of economics has lowered its standards.
The mantra is familiar: Irresponsibly threatening to shut down the government is really a threat to (for example) seniors who will be denied their Social Security checks, to veterans disability pay, interstate highways and even (if they get really desperate) to our military readiness.
To hear President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others describe it, you’d think Republicans had devised a plan to violate the entire Bill of Rights at midday on Main Street. Who do they think they are, the TSA? Missing in this heart-wrenching morality play is any mention of the morality behind running up the tab in the first place.
It is true, as the Democrats point out every few minutes, that raising the debt ceiling by itself is not authorizing further spending. It’s just making sure that what’s already been spent can be legally paid for. That’s their great moral argument? That this nation’s government is so irresponsible that granting itself retroactive permission to rack up the credit charges has become as routine as the Fourth of July?
The righteous indignation doesn’t stop at the debt ceiling fight. Similar wailing and gnashing of teeth was heard in response to the Republicans’ modest and common sense reform proposal for food stamps. Cries of “heartlessness” and “letting the poor starve” filled the halls of Congress. Over what, exactly? Well, a draconian requirement that those who’ve been receiving food stamps for more than three months over a three-year period be required to work 20 hours a week, perform equivalent community service or enroll in a job training program, for starters. Add in procedural assurances that only those who qualify for food stamps actually receive them and states have greater control over administration of the program. Straight out a Dickens novel, I tell you.
Again absent in the caterwauling is any outcry over the inherent immorality of entrenched dependence — only obdurate criticism of a plan to try and break its insidious grip.
Speaking of not having a plan, the Democrats continue their policy of philanthropic pique by using another tragedy — this time murders at the Washington Navy Yard — to carry on about one thing and one thing only: guns.
There’s been no mention of anything that might actually work to help prevent another massacre. No pounding the table demanding that we as a society rethink the damage the application of radical civil libertarianism to mental health has done to society by allowing people like Aaron Alexis to wander about free with their demons.
To her unusual credit, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein did make a token statement about how the government might just maybe ought to look at the utility of retaining the use of an outfit that conducted the security background checks of both Alexis and one Edward Snowden. But following that brief lapse into reality, the Democrat from California descended back into the familiar “It’s the gun” refrain.
No other potential issue that could have contributed to the massacre was even considered. The cry among the left was solely for further gun control legislation, such as universal background checks. One could be forgiven for failing to see how that might possibly help, given the fact Alexis passed numerous background checks on his way to killing 12 people.
It is a recurring theme in the liberal political world, to claim a faux moral high ground that fails to recognize the deeper immorality that’s an inevitable consequence of the superficial approach liberalism offers. That’s the price of rash, imprudent change that ignores the wisdom of accumulated knowledge and experience and relies only on the pseudo-wisdom of the current age or fleeting whims of popular culture.
And so we are left with a ruling body that mocks attempts at solving root problems that are more often than not created in the first place by a government attempting to do that which it’s not equipped to do. That’s how we get things like ballooning debt, increased crime and confused foreign policy. It’s how we got Obamacare instead of a health care plan that would actually reduce costs and increase access and quality rather than compound the problems.
But at least with each compounding problem, the liberals are there to display more indignation.